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Policing behind the Veil: Problems involving Female Police Officers in Pakistan

 Imran Ahmad Sajid  and Fasihuddin (PSP)

Abstract
Women police officers in Pakistan are caught between cultural norms and their
responsibilities as police professionals. The police department is considered a
masculine organization requiring a strong manly image. Male police officials have yet
to accept women as their equals. This research was conducted to better understand the
major problems women police officers are facing during the performance of their duties
in Balochistan (Pakistan). A survey was designed and the Balochistan police
department was contacted to allow female officers to participate in the research. The
results revealed that most of the women police personnel had joined the police force by
their own choice, but mostly compelled by the urge to meet their immediate needs and
to support their families. The major problems faced by them were the granting of leave
in case of emergency and the need to work night shifts. These officers also reported that
incidents of sexual harassment had occurred in various forms. Sex role spillover theory
has been employed to explain the findings. This theory states that gender norms are so
well established, stable, and salient that they will ―spill over‖ into the work role, and
therefore people respond to women due to their sex/gender role instead of their
occupational role.

Keywords: Law Enforcement; Pakistan; Gender Responsive Policing; Women in
Policing; Balochistan